This is a dark day. Outside, grey Manchester skies loom over damp pavements. Inside, my own mood is equally dark.
Yesterday evening I was preparing to eat a meal whipped up from an ancient can of beans and a residual piece of gammon that I discovered lurking at the back of the freezer. A phone call from acting captain John, Reed, of East Cheshire Chess Club. Are you playing tonight? he asked.
I avoided a sarcastic answer such as ‘no I’m cooking my dinner’. My surprise was genuine. I don’t think so I said.
You should be, we are playing at Stockport. John sounded weary, rather than head-banging angry. I left out excuses or protestations of innocence. The ghastly truth had struck home. I had missed a league match against the toughest of opponents in the Stockport league. I had let my friends and colleagues down. I could get over straight away, I said rather pathetically, turning off the oven.
Silence from my phone.
I was calculating that I would already be running out of time, even if I could break the speed limit and reach Stockport before my clock left me with a little time to play the game. John broke the silence. I’ll cancel the game then he said. I would be recorded as a no-show. I turn the oven back on. Later, the meal was to taste disgusting. Soon I will learn the consequences of my no-show. I must find a way of making amends.
Welcome to new and earlier readers of our Newsletter sharing ideas on creativity in politics, science, the arts and everyday life. From our national base in England we try to examine news from around the world.
This week has seen attempted coups in Peru and Germany, the latter that would stretch the credulity of watchers of a Hollywood blockbuster. In other international news, China eases its COVID lockdown approach in face of continued demonstrations. Nationally, other news is displaced by media fixation on England’s next match in the World Cup, and the saga of William and Megan. Residual space allows mention of the assortment of industrial actions starting or threatened.
Monday 5 December The morning papers announce an England win with unconfined joy. Probably unrelated, Keir Starmer announces Labour’s intention to abolish the House of Lords if the party returns to power at the next election. Iran announces dissolution of its morality police, seen as attempt to defuse protest movement. Reports by the UN from Haiti say the country is reduced to an uncontrollable state by rival criminal groups. The Brazilian team shows why have become overwhelming favourites to win the World Cup. England expectations slightly diminished. But the cricket team achieved a memorable win beating Pakistan in a test match with multiple records broken for runs scored, and a last-minute finish as the light faded.
Tuesday 6 December China makes slight reductions to its lockdown approach. Citizens allowed to stay home rather than taken to isolation centres. Ukraine suffering further hardships with power breakdowns from missile attacks. Retaliates with drone incursions deep into Russia damaging a military fuel supply depot. In England, accumulations of strikes as negotiations break down, a suggestion by Govt minister Nadhim Zawadi that strikers are offering comfort to Russian President Putin is widely criticised.
Wednesday 7 December News from America. The run-off from Georgia results in a narrow Democratic win strengthening its control over the House. The Trump organisation is found guilty of serious extended financial malpractices and faces fines finedin excess of $1,000,000. Both are indirect blows to President Trump’s political aspirations. In the U.K., inconveniences through industrial disputes, compete for headlines with the upcoming football match between England and France, and on the further episode of the Royal soap opera Megan & Harry. Less visible is a corruption scandal surrounding new Conservative peer Baroness Mone.
Thursday 8 December News of coups and attempted coups in Peru (left wing) and Germany (right wing). News content of the headline story: Palace were nasty to us, say Harry and Megan U.K. to open first new coal mine for thirty years. Politically contentious, after commitments to combatting climate change made at the last two yearly UN Cop conferences.
Friday 9 December Multiple strikes and threats of strikes in run up to Christmas. News media show a sort of advent calendar with red crosses showing days and nature of disruptions. Postal workers into second week of picketing. Rail union discussions break down again. Nurses, Ambulance drivers, are among vital service providers also preparing for actions over the festive season. Even England’s benign climate has given up and slumped into a below-zero sulkiness. The media are continuing their fixation on England’s next match in the World Cup, and the saga of William and Megan.
Saturday 10 December England lose a close game to France. One source of national headlines now dries up. Attention turns to the success of outsiders Morocco advancing the the semi-finals against France by beating another of the favourites Portugal.
Sunday 11 December Yes, headlines filled with sad expressions of England’s defeat. Exuberant puns replaced with limp cries of anguish. ‘Football’s coming home’ indeed. More room for news of the continuing freeze-up.
Wit and Wisdom of Twitter (continued)
@TCymraig Day 4 in Paris: Everyone speaks French here. The bastards, I bet they were all speaking English before we stepped foot outside of our aeroplane!
@deelomas A priest, a pastor and a rabbit entered a clinic to donate blood. The nurse asked the rabbit, “What’s your blood type?” “I’m probably a type O”, said the rabbit.
@BigPepeSilvia I was supposed to be travelling to see my son on Christmas Eve but thanks to Jeremy Corbyn’s rail strike I’ve been forced to put him up for adoption. So now not only is Christmas ruined but I’ve got to stay looking for a new son in January. Thanks very much, @RMTunion @lynjpredegast Yes. How is it Corbyn’s strike? He’s not even in the Labour Party or the RMT. Delete your tweet. It’s false @shellypower It’s bloody outrageous. Jeremy Corbyn’s government has asset stripped the NHS so much I will be walking to my local hospital in order to amputate my own leg today. Thanks a bunch! @Shambles151 Irony is not dead – just a little musty.
@GlenMitchell1 There are many sadnesses to your kids getting older but them no longer being in a pushchair that you can use as a weapon on rude people’s ankles in crowded events must be one of the worst.
Killers of a certain age by Deanna Raybourn A humorous thriller featuring four female assassins ready to retire. BG
Animal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir Thoughtful and imaginative novel with a midwife puzzling out birth to death issues through the secrets of her grand aunt’s notebooks. TR
At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell Delightfully written account, leaving the reader free to make sense of it all. TR
Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega Wannabe Witches attempting to graduate to full Witchdom By author of much-liked Ghost Squad ER
Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell Overcame my suspicion of concealed moral-instruction books. TR
Mouse’s Wood by Alice Melville Fun starter ‘read to and lift-flaps’ picture book. TR
Books which don’t need our backingUnless we receive a genuine (non-trade) recommendation, we do not give additional support to books attributed to celebrities, even if they have written them themselves. They don’t need our backing.
After fifteen years and over a million contacts (‘hits’) Leaders We Deserve remains an important way for me to share my ideas about leadership and creativity. Increasingly I have seen the benefits of rousing myself from my blogging slumbers to ask the painful question whether it needs some kind of updating.
WordPress has changed. That’s for sure, and I am currently learning how to drive the new supercharged model, demonstrating all the signs of a driver who should still be displaying L-plates
Pause, to see if I remember how to produce the moves leading into a side-road where I parked my pictures.
I reverse out of the lay-by into the main text highway with little unintended consequences. I Concentrate on the road ahead. Where am I going? Is this a test-drive with no other purpose of learning about the controls?
No, I was telling you about how Leaders We Deserve now has company among my various modes of travel along the electronic highways and byways.
For example, there is the recently born infant Everyday Creativity, with its weekly newsletter you are already receiving as followers of LWD.
Then there is the new (to me) podcast TudoRama, a must-listen for the rapidly growing audience (current word) whose members listen to the messages, heirs to receivers of radio broadcasts.
As an interim measure you should be receiving the newsletter regularly as a follower of LWD.
Longer term the various vehicles will rumble into action, with posts on creative leadership still to be found through the efforts of this old warhorse Leaders We Deserve, and posts on Everyday Creativity as the infant learns to walk before it can run.
As for TudoRama, who knows? Except I am sure it will build up a network interacting with its poddlers, long after prescriptive text insists I change what I’ve written to toddlers.
Leaders We Deserve has been inactive for several months. The story will be told on my podcast site TudoRama, hosted by Buzzsprout.
THE OPENING STATEMENT:
‘Hello, My name’s Tudor Rickards. welcome to TudoRama, my podcast about creativity in sport, politics, the arts and everyday life’.
I’ve spent a great deal of my time coming up with new ideas, and learning how they come about.
In this first podcast I show how I made the leap recently from writing books to creating my first audio broadcast. In some ways it’s been like going back to school, or learning to write again, something I had to do once, while recovering from a serious illness. Or maybe it’s like learning to play tennis with your other hand. I already had plenty of experience, but a lot to learn modifying it for a new medium.
Leaders We Deserve will be used to introduce the new materials being generated through Tudorama.